Lush green flora, fresh mountain air and breathtaking soaring peaks – this is Mahabaleshwar, the perfect summer gateway for people of Maharashtra.
Mahabaleshwar is the most famous tourist spot and popular hill station in Satara district in the state of Maharashtra, which was the summer capital during British presidency. The words Mahabaleshwar has derived from Sanskrit word meaning “God of Great power”, and true to its meaning the place, altitude of 1372m above sea level, is full of greenery with old world charm giving a spectacular view of the surrounding hills and yet being equally modern. Due to its magnificent scenic beauty, with springs and waterfalls in the plateau of Mahabaleshwar, it is also called ‘Queen of hills’. A tour to Mahabaleshwar should be at least for a couple of days for there is much to see around the country side.
Mahabaleshwar is a tourist destination for almost a thousand people every year. It is 120 km from southwest of Pune and 285 km from Mumbai and road transportation is the main mode of transportation to get in such a beautiful place. The best time to visit the place is from March to May, and due to heavy rainfall the place gets temporarily closed from June to September mid. Mahabaleshwar Hotels are in abundance and while most the hotels of Mahabaleshwar are town based but some of them also offers beautiful scenic view for the visitors.
Mahabaleshwar has twenty five visiting “points”. These points are named after the British Administrator who found the splendid place and these points are various edges of plateau which are located in different directions. To visit these points there are various rental cars, taxis and even horses are easily available and government buses are also available. Few of the most visiting are Lodwick Point, Arthur’s seat, Babington Point, Wilson Point – also known as sunrise point is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar, Kate’s Point, Bombay Point, Elephant’s head Point and Lingamala falls.
Old Mahabaleshwar which is also known as ‘Kshetra Mahabaleshwar’ is located off main road just before reaching Venna Lake, which is also a tourist favourite place for boating, fishing and pony riding. While visiting old Mahabaleshwar one should also visit Panchgana Mandir, which is believed to contain the spirit of five rivers Koyna, Venna, Gayatri and famous Krishna River. For sightseeing there are Mount Malcolm, Holy Cross Church, Pratapgad Fort.